Personal Donation


I have an 8th grade student whose family fell on some hard times earlier this year. Once the school was aware, the staff was asked for donations to give to the family. The family was very happy and appreciative of the gifts. Unfortunately that student came to me this morning requesting to brush her teeth before her first period. (I keep toothbrushes, floss, etc. in my office). She asked if she could tell me something that she didn't want anyone else to know. I said as long as there is no harm involved I would try my best. She stated she has no toothpaste at home and listed some various other health and beauty items she is lacking. Her mother has been unable to work recently due to an illness. As much as I would like to call upon my staff and ask for their help, I want to maintain the trust that student has in me. I have no problem picking up the items myself and giving them to her. My question is, is it appropriate? Also, what if her mother is offended or gets upset with her daughter for confiding in me? I'd appreciate any thoughts or opinions.

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health, Home Care.

Here's one way to approach: talk to the student and tell her "I'd like to talk to your mom about this, I might know a place where we can get some of these things but I want to be sure it's ok with her first." If mom is ok when you talk to her ( I would just mention that you might know of a source) Then you can ask for donations or supply your own or whatever. You don't need to advertise who it is for, and if you get any surplus, you might have a need in the future. I would rather the staff didn't know who the recipient is in a case like this. Hope this helps!

coughdrop.2.go, BSN, RN

1 Article; 709 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health Nurse. Has 3 years experience.

I know that my school is always taking in donation of clothes, hygiene supplies, and school supplies for homeless students or those who otherwise need the items. See if you can specifically start a drive for that. If the school has the budget, you can hold a contest to see what classroom can collect the most items and get something like a pizza party. That was you can have extra supplies on hand in case another student is in need.


36 Posts

Those are both awesome ideas. I'm going to speak with Mom today and start a drive to have things on hand. Thank you guys. :)

NutmeggeRN, BSN

8 Articles; 4,592 Posts

Specializes in kids. Has 40 years experience.

In my small town, the Police and Fire Dept will often kick in from their relief associaiton.

Flare, ASN, BSN

5 Articles; 4,431 Posts

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

another idea is to talk to the girl scouts or boy scouts (key club, DECA, whatever club) and see if they can throw together a project where they collect hygiene supplies and put together "comfort kits" containing brush, tooth brush, tooth paste, soap, hand sanitizer, etc in a ziplock bag to pass out to people - these don't just have to go to you (as this may generate more than you have space to keep) - they can make them up and give a few to you and give a few to the fire department for people that may lose their house to a fire or give some to the police dept to give to some to people that may need to vacate the houses under duress